Melissa C. Koh

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My most heartwarming birthday yet

Dear, Diary

When I first got the news that circuit breaker measures were to be extended beyond 4th of May, I must admit that I was crestfallen. I had envisioned having a warm and intimate gathering with friends and family. Having their company is all that I could ever wish for. I really wished to get back some sense of normalcy. 

Despite the initial disappointment, I decided that there was really no point in dwelling in what could have been. I reminded myself to be grateful for what I have and the people that love me, and that having an amazing birthday was just the icing on the cake. I was prepared to spend the day like any other day: work, taking care of Noah, and a comforting home cooked meal to round off the evening. What I was not expecting was a whole line-up of surprises organised by my friends and family!

As I turn a year older, nothing makes me happier than being in the company of those I treasure and love most, and I’m so glad that I managed to get a glimpse of everything that matters most to me on my very special day. 




My birthday started with a ton of messages on my phone, some balloons in my living room and flowers sitting on my dining table. On top of it all, sat a red plastic bag with a card and candle by its side. Steph, my best friend, had brought some fried carrot cake, which is by far one of my favourite local breakfasts and as she had rightly put it, “There’s no better cake than carrot cake”. It was a lovely way to start my birthday morning. 

Somewhere in between, lots of deliveries happened. I had a number of cake deliveries streaming in as I sat down to enjoy my breakfast. I’m very thankful for James, who went ahead to set up a gorgeous birthday photoshoot backdrop while I tucked into my beloved carrot cake. 

Now with my belly happy and heart full, it was time to have some fun with a mini photoshoot! I always love taking pictures (especially on my birthday). It was a very nice way to mark a momentous occasion. Somewhere down the road, I can look back on these photos with baby Noah and say “See, this was mama’s first birthday with you around!”.


Got on a Zoom call with my girlfriends. They knew my love for pasta and all things italian, and opted to order from Garibaldi, one of my favourite Italian restaurants. I really enjoyed having the chance to spend quality time with some of my closest friends and just watching each other eat and catching up over Zoom felt like the sweetest way to do dinner.


One sumptuous meal and many crazy conversations later, it was time to sit down to the many cakes we had stacked up in the fridge. A perfect way to end the crazy day filled with so much joy, love and gratitude. 

I was really basking in every second of being a year older with baby Noah in my arms and James beside me. It was a moment in the day where I was reminded of how blessed I am. 


Saturday’s are usually our routine choir prayer session on Zoom, since the start of circuit breaker. It was a great way to settle down from all schenegians of the afternoon and I couldn’t be more thankful that Noah’s nap time coincided perfectly with this. It gave James and I a private moment to really focus, reflect and be present.  


As soon as the session was over, I received a Whatsapp text from my girlfriends with a formal invitation attached. Can you believe they even took the effort to do up an invite? “6.30pm Dress up and be ready to work up an appetite” the invite read. Steph then appeared at my doorstep with a beautiful homemade red velvet cake in her hand. I was crying inside. 

Just before bed

After this amazing day, the day that I had previously envisioned being spent without the company of my dearest friends and loved ones, I was ready to drift off into a peaceful slumber, filled with heartwarming memories. But James had one last surprise planned out…

He had compiled a video montage of countless friends’ birthday wishes. It must’ve taken him ages to coordinate and plan this out and I had no idea how and when he found the time to edit this video! It truly was the best gift that I could ever ask for, the gift of time. Watching my friends through the screen made me a tad bit emotional as I realised how far away and perhaps, even distant, we’ve become. I was even surprised to see some of my kuku’s and cousins in there! I miss everyone! 

This year, my birthday was extra-special, not because I spent it within the confines of my home, but because it’s helped me realize how fortunate I am to have friends and family that love me beyond words. This year is also my first birthday as a mother, and words cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am to be able to spend this amazing day with Noah and James. 

I’ll be keeping this post as a personal keepsake. Should I ever feel unhappy or lacking, I’ll be sure to look back on this personal space of mine and be reminded to always see the glass half full.

I also filmed a birthday vlog capturing these very fond memories, check it out here!

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